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Call of Juarez: Bound In Blood (PS3)

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4 Reviews

Genre: Action & Shooter / Release Date: 2009-07-03 / Published by Ubisoft

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    4 Reviews
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    • More +
      14.08.2011 16:20
      Very helpful
      1 Comment



      It isn't FPS heaven, but worth getting.

      Call of Juarez, a first-person shooter released in 2006 on PC and the next year on Xbox 360, was good but had a lot of room for improvements. The graphics weren't great, and there were some heavily flawed sequences which frustrated. But it's clear that Techland went out and made a prequel that addressed the problem of its predecessor. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is not a brilliant game, but is a very enjoyable adventure through the Old West in the 1800's.


      Ray and Thomas McCall are brothers, fighting for the Confederate Army to save Atlanta. When Thomas is sent to the frontlines one day, Ray goes to rescue his brother as he would likely be shot down in a second by the hundreds of opposing troopers coming their way. This makes the two realise that they have to go to protect their family and homestead, angering their leader. When the brothers arrive home, they find soldiers attacking the area. After wiping out the enemy, Ray and Thomas make it inside to find their mother dead with the third brother, William, at her side.

      The three brothers set off, intending to rebuild their now ruined family home one day. So, they begin seeking the missing Gold of Juarez, valuable treasure that many have looked for in the past but failed. It is said that people are driven mad by finding it. Ray dismisses this myth and persuades his brothers to go with him. Along the way, they meet a notorious criminal named Juan Mendoza and become involved with a deadly weapon deal.

      The story isn't very detailed, but it is the kind of story you would expect from a Western film, so Techland should be praised. The characters are also very interesting - the relationship between Ray and Thomas becomes tense as the story progresses. William's character can also be intriguing as he is so different from his brothers; he is very religious so he is against his brothers' violent acts. There are also plenty of great side characters who make the story even better.


      Sadly, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood doesn't really do much new for the FPS genre. But there are several features that make it slightly different to the common shooter. So, what sort of thing would you do in a battle? A group of enemies are coming my way. I equip my rifle and shoot at an enemy on a roof. Then, I get out two rangers, shooting at nearby enemies, aiming at the head all the time. By now, I have unlocked Concentration Mode, so I tap the circle button. Everything goes into slow motion. I move my reticule over close enemies, and then tap circle again. My character automatically shoots at those people in quick succession. There's one enemy left, so I have a bit of time for experimenting. I shoot at a lamp. A fire starts, so my opponent is stunned. Finally, I grab a chair from by the nearest building, and whack the enemy in the head.

      The one thing that makes this game different most of all, though, is the fact that you can choose between playing as Ray and Thomas at the start of each level. Both characters has his own unique ability. For example, Ray can dual-wield weapons and use dynamite, while Thomas can use bows and throw knives. This also adds replay value, with trophies for playing every level as both characters.

      However, this doesn't change that some people will get bored in the middle of the game because gunfights take up most of the game's average 10 hour length. It all boils down to whether you love or hate FPS titles.


      Bound in Blood's multiplayer isn't brilliant, but you might waste a few hours on it. There are several modes that take place across various maps. You earn money for getting kills on your enemies, and can spend it on a temporary update for one of the many classes, or simply purchase a new class. When the game first came out, a lot more people probably would have been playing it but now, there aren't many. Therefore, less available games come up when you do a quick search - most people playing now use Manhunt mode, which is a fairly good game, but it would be nice if more people used other modes. It is an enjoyable experience, though.


      Despite some minor graphical issues, the game does look great. Standing on top of a mountain and looking down at the scenery is full of detail. The faces do look realistic, with lots of detail, but a bit ugly at times. Also, there are only a couple of enemy face types. Look down on bodies and you will find most look the same. Sadly, this harks back to the Half-Life days. That's 1998.


      Bound in Blood features some brilliant Western themed music that you won't be forgetting for a while. There are several fast-paced pieces that play in action-packed sections such as chases or gunfights, but music is slower on the credits and loading sequences. Voice acting-wise, the heavy accents may get annoying sometimes but are suitable for the Western setting of the game. One of the main problems with the sound is that in-game, Ray and Thomas constantly repeat phrases they used before. But overall, there is some brilliant music and good voice acting on offer here.


      In my opinion, the PEGI 16+ rating is a touch over the top, but the 12+ rating wouldn't have been high enough. When shooting enemies, a medium amount of blood sprays but doesn't splatter. There is a lot of swearing with two uses of f*** and s*** is used possibly more than twenty times. More minor swear words are also used. I'd say this game is suitable for people of ages 13+.


      Overall, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is a great first-person shooter that's worth buying. It features a great story with loads of excellent characters. The game doesn't contain anything significant that does anything really new for the genre, but there are some small features that set it apart from the big shooters like Call of Duty. The graphics aren't always good-looking but the scenery is beautiful and there is plenty of facial detail. The online mode isn't essential to play, but worth your time. And for just over a fiver used on Amazon, it's worth a go.

      Thanks for reading! This review is also posted on Ciao under my name YoshiCheesePuff.


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      • More +
        10.05.2010 19:04
        Very helpful



        a brillant game

        Call Of Juarez is a western shoot em up. I like it good graphics and reminds me off call of duty only set in a different scene. This game was developed by a polish developer.

        This game has a great story behind it. It all started long ago when treasure was lost and it has never to have been found. Many have tried to retrieve the gold but failed and some say that the gold is cursed. Well the person you play has had a hard life and his father is dead and his step father used to beat him. So he left in search for the gold after two years of trying he returned home. To find his mother dead and written in blood call of juraez. Someone finds him standing over his mother and he is going down for the killing. But just like every good western he goes on the run and in search for the murderer.

        The story line is great the graphics is brillant every detail in the game is just unbelivable. The setting is just brillant in the wild west and different saloons and the charcters it just makes gameplay better to me as it is not very often you get a game that is set in the old country and western films like you see on tv. It is different and unique and develops a good gaming experience and is highly addicted once you start from the off ass the story grips you straight in. I can not say any more just to try it out I bought this game preowned for ten pound and you would probabally get it cheaper now as the follow up is out. It was sucesful game and thats why there is a follow up for me four stars


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      • More +
        03.09.2009 19:53
        Very helpful



        A good game for everyone to enjoy.

        This game is good, but certainly not the best on the PS3, so I would wait for the price to drop before you take the chance.

        The plot is very simple to understand, so most people will be able to play it, but it's not one of the best. Two brothers are fighting in the US Civil War, fighting for the Confederates. They are both different personalities, causing many problems but they leave to save their family home after the battles move closer to it. There, they meet a third brother, setting on a journey full of cowboy cliches.

        The graphics on the game aren't that bad, well within PS3 standards but not as good as others on the system. The textures are pretty poor in places, but you will be having too much fun to bother.

        The game isn't that difficult, with casual players able to complete the game on medium without any major problems. Even the harder difficulty levels just need time and patience. The trophies are also rather easy, but time consuming in places. It uses a rather good system, with an in-game menu able to see how far you are away from getting the trophies. This is a great feature, with hardly any games including it.

        The gameplay is pretty good, with easy controls. Anybody can get used to the style, with some good features such as a good cover system. It's a great game, but not for fans of run and gun type games. The guns are also fun, with each one having a different feel. However, the missions don't offer much variety and the AI isn't that good in some parts. The game is quite short, but fun for the duration. It's best in short bursts, otherwise it can get repetitive.

        The game also has some good innovative features, with a concentration mode. Killing 6 enemies gives you the ability to have extra concentration for a couple of minutes, giving you extra powers so you can clear full rooms of enemies. This is very fun, each brother handling it differently. The boss battles are also very fun, using the analogue sticks to move your hands. Keeping them in sight offers the ability to kill when the old fashioned bell tolls. This is a very fun mini game, but can become very frustrating and hard later on in the game.

        The game also has a very fun multiplayer mode, and at the moment it is very easy to get a game. I can imagine this will continue with trophies available for playing online. The better a player becomes, the more bounty you gain. When you kill a player, you gain money relating to the amount of bounty the player has. The modes are also very good, with a good variety to keep you busy. These include the usual Team Deathmatch, Free For All, Assassination Team and Assassination Free For All. However, the best one, Wild West Legends, involves two teams fighting against each other to blow up targets. The maps are well designed, along with the classes that are all balanced.

        On the other hand, you can get lag in some games, but this is in most online games.

        Overall, a great game that is very fun. There is a lot of variety online, it can be played by everyone and it is a different game to the generic games usually available. However, the single player is quite short, and the graphics aren't the best. Most FPS fans will like it, but it's different so you may have to give it time. It's definitely worth a shot, but maybe wait until the price drops before deciding to take the plunge.


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      • More +
        19.08.2009 16:56
        Very helpful



        Rent before you decide if you want to buy it for the multiplayer aspect

        Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is the prequel to the original game first released on PC in 2006. It follows brothers Ray and Thomas McCall and presumably (I've not played the original) sets the scene for the original game. The game itself is a western themed first person shooter and despite what I say in this review I do think it's a great game.

        The game itself consists of 15 chapters and locations vary from arid towns in Mexico to lush forests in the mountains. The story is nothing original and in a nutshell can be described as good guys defeat the bad guys in their search for lost treasure. The main story is actually fairly short and I think I got through it in around 8-9 hours, but there are two chapters you can basically miss out which would cut the game to around 7 hours.

        In most chapters you have the option of playing either Ray or Thomas. Ray is excellent with duel wielded pistols and is able to use dynamite in the same way as a grenade. Thomas is more of a stealth/sharp shooter. His close quarters combat is weak but he excels from a distance with rifles. He is also able to sneak around using throwing knives and a bow and arrow for stealth kills. Lastly he is able to climb areas that Ray can not and has a lasso to help him reach even higher spots.

        The AI in this game are actually pretty good. Whichever brother you are not playing as will always be running with you through the levels and actually is an asset. Ray will provide covering fire while you as Thomas snipe people off buildings. If you stand in cover Ray will quite happily take out all of the enemies without your help providing they are in the reach of his pistol. On the harder difficulty levels this can be extremely useful as the AI are able to 1 hit kill you out of the blue so letting Ray storm in draws their attention to him and lets you take them out from a distance.

        The saviour to Call of Juarez is the online play without which the game would be a complete money waster. There is nothing revolutionary in the game modes and most are variants of things such as sabotage games or team death matches. However the way the class/ranking system works is something much lacking in CoD. During online play as you kill people and get streaks of kills your "bounty" goes up. This is how much someone else will get when they kill you. When you get killed your bounty will not decrease so over the course of a game most people will have bounties between $500-$1500. you can then use this money to purchase new classes or small upgrades to your class.
        This is the thing I really like and think CoD needs to do. Any upgrades made to your class in a round are removed at the end meaning everyone starts at the same level at the start of a round. The class system is also very definitive and all have their advantages and disadvantages. There are something like 10 different classes ranging from snipers, miners with lots of dynamite perfect for flushing out enemy controlled buildings, natives with a bow which is actually extremely effective and silent as well allowing you to play a stealthy movement game, hombres who are perfect close combat fighters wielding 2 sawn off shotguns and lots more.

        Now to counter what I will say in a bit here are the general perks. The graphics of the game are really great and have a highly realistic feel to them. if you shoot certain wood it will cause it to break up so the environment is semi destructable. The way the firing system is set up is great because both the L1 and R1 are used to fire weapons it means you can fire just one gun or both at once. Then you can choose to press both buttons at once and send a double shot of sawn off shotgun fire causing deadly damage at close range. You can also quickly alternate your fire with 2 pistols allowing you to fire a total of 12 (or 18) rounds in quick succession providing great supressing fire.
        The cover system is the best of it's kind. When you go up to objects such as boxes or walls your character will automatically take cover. You are then able to move your character around the cover so you can peek over the top or around the sides without exposing yourself fully. Another asset to the firing system is the blurr effect. When zooming in with a weapon the area you are focusing on will be crisp but the surrounding area will be out of focus. This gives an impression of someone focusing on a specific point and not paying attention to the entire screen which is great and a nice realistic touch. Lastly I've got to admit I don't at all feel I'm missing out not having machine guns blazing. There is something far more satisfying with being able to run around with duel wielded guns instead and seeing the smoke puffs come up with everyones shot.

        Now the negatives. Sadly there are quiite a lot which is the reason for only giving the game 3 stars. It's probably easiest to sort of list them.

        Firstly and most obviously the game is an FPS which puts it in with the likes of Killzone and CoD. Luckily there are no other Western shooters so it does not have any direct competition in that respect but it just doesn't cut it as a top class game.
        As I already mentioned the story mode is not that long and certainly not original.
        There are times especially in online play when fps slowdown is extremely noticeable
        With such emphasis on the cover system it's a dissappoint that your gun will often be inside of the said cover you are using, be it boxes or the occasional wall.
        All the online maps are set in towns and when you consider most the main game is not it seems a shame they did not include maps of any of the mountain areas or the some of the other areas like the mines.
        Online quality is extremely poor, most servers will have a red (really bad) connection and cut out.
        An average evening (20:00) there are not even 100 people playing online. This is coming from a game released not even 2 months ago which makes finding the type of game you want on the map you like pretty much impossible.
        The actual lobby system is a pain. After you have completed a game you get taken back to the main menu of the game and have to go through the whole server finding process again (connect to the network, find a game, connect to the game etc). Allowing people to stay on a server and have the maps cycle or let players vote on the next map would have been an easy to add and extremely handy function. If i'm in a great game I want to be able to keep the players not have it end after one round then look to join a game which could have a load of idiots playing.
        Wanted mode (an online mode) can take as much as 5 minutes to get 8 players and be ready to go, and then will 99% of the time be over in less than 1 minute making it a totaly pointless mode.
        The checkpoint system in the main game is the most frustrating I've ever encountered. Every checkpoint you reach will be followed by a (give or take) 5 second pause. When you consider chapters have anywhere from 5-10 of these it really destroys the fluidity of the game.
        The DLC is totally pointless. You get 4 new maps for £7.99 but with so few people online in general the chances of having a full game using 1 of these maps is pretty much 0.
        The price is just not competitive. Up until a week ago it was still £32 but now it's gone down to £24. Even so this is the same price as CoD:WaW and more expensive than Killzone 2, both of which have 10,000's online at nights and have a much greater varity of online play as well as a better single play as well.
        There is no Co-op. I mean this is the most perfect game for split screen or even online story mode Co-op. For 99% of the game you and your brother are together and yet only an AI can take the role of the second player.

        Now I've finished having my rant. There is no question this game is fun, if you like fps then this is definately worth a look into. With the lack of people on multiplayer I'd say you'd be better off renting the game for a few days. You'll complete it in less than that and save your money. If you've not yet got CoD or Killzone 2 buy that instead. The multiplayer is a lot of fun despite it being limited in variation and number of people. Overall I suspect this game will pass by as "another fps" which is a shame as it had the makings of a great game but it's just not up to the standard required and doesn't have the same loyal fanbase as CoD to ensure great sales.


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      • Product Details

        Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is the prequel to the critically acclaimed Wild West action shooter Call of Juarez. As the McCall brothers, players enter a doomed quest for the legendary Gold of Juarez leading them from a ravaged Georgia during the Civil War to the Aztec ruins of Mexico. They make their lawless trail into the wildest West ever depicted, using their gun slinging skills and killing all of those that stand before them. But when brothers face Lust, their bound of blood feels thinner than ever...

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